Alex Guarnaschelli Creates Edible Tablescapes For Easy Entertaining

When it comes to entertaining, the overall presentation of your table can be just as important as the meal itself. The flowers, candles, foliage, tablecloth, and table setting have to create a cohesive, intimate visual that makes you want to pull up a chair and break bread together. While the concept has been around for some time with it really taking off in 18th century, Sandra Lee, who is famous for her elaborate table set-ups, is often credited with popularizing the term of art for this table design known as tablescaping. 

Tablescaping is a combination of the words table and landscaping and a nod to creating an elegant and artistic table. But like with many good things, tablescaping has evolved over the years. A centerpiece is no longer just arrangements of flowers. Instead, it can be anything and everything from Legos to balloons to beach and book themed centerpieces to edible arrangements. The only limitation to achieving your perfect tablescape is your own imagination. However, if you need a little inspiration and want to set a beautiful table, you might want to borrow a page from Alex Guarnaschelli, who makes her tablescape a part of the meal.

Incorporate food into your tablescape

Alex Guarnaschelli revealed to Food Network she likes to incorporate food into her tablescaping. Guarnaschelli said, "I place small plates of berries and fruits out, so the tablescapes are edible along with the meal." Creating an edible tablescape is a great way to integrate seasonal fruits and vegetables that complement your dishes. These foods may not make it into the main attraction, but they are too delicious to exclude from a meal. It's easy to turn a watermelon into a bowl of cut-up fruit for a summertime fun centerpiece or to make your charcuterie board a focal point.

Guarnaschelli isn't alone in her love of having an edible element to her table setting. The tablescape queen herself, Sandra Lee, told People she loves to have a tempting and beautiful dessert take centerstage when she creates hers. The beauty of an edible tablescape besides being aesthetically pleasing to look at is that it encourages guests to leisurely graze until the meal is ready. So, for that next soiree or backyard barbecue, don't be afraid to use food in your table set-up. It will not only make entertaining a little easier for the host, but delicious for guests.